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Finding flowers for the Queen's visit to 'Queen Mary'

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Unique ID:19437
Description:A ship worker on board 'Queen Mary' talks about the time when the Queen visited and staff had to find flowers to match her dress.
Creator:Unknown
Date:Unknown
Copyright:Southampton City Council
Partner:SCC Oral History Unit
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

There was one special occasion, I think … I should think it must have been probably somewhere about 1950, when the Cunard company commissioned a painting of the Queen Mother which they hung in the First Class lounge.  It was a very beautiful picture and the wish of Cunard was that we should match the colour of the Queen's dress with sweet peas so she must have come down in June I would think.  They put a spy on the railway platform at Winchester where the train stopped to pick up the...I suppose the Lord Lieutenant and the other Hampshire VIPs so we had the time that the train took to come from Winchester through to Southampton docks to carry out a decoration of 5 huge containers...in fact they were soup tureens...which we have got flora pack and that sort of thing in...to go right across the top table. So we were waiting there with all these boxes of different coloured sweet peas all ready to go as soon as we got the message.  Well, a message came through, was phoned through to the ship and a runner brought us the message so we set into this … this job right across the...and just about got it finished and we had a message that the Queen was coming up the gangway so anyway we just about got it done and disappeared into the galley behind.  But the problem was that the dear lady changed her dress in the train between Winchester and Southampton so we didn't match after all.

Question: After all that, a different colour huh?

(Laughs).

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